Wednesday, April 22, 2020

That's a wrap!

What's with the weather? Not only have we almost been blown out of this country by the constant winds which, with the lower temperatures, makes for some chilly walks but this morning? The cars are dusted with snow! I suppose we should be happy that we don't have to shovel, but really? I'd like one nice WARM morning for a walk. At least there is no wind this morning and the sun is out.

Another crazy, wild day around my house! OK - so not crazy at all, but still, lots of stuff got done. I'm happy to report that I got the homework for two of the four projects that are due this weekend. All the blocks are pieced and the pictures are taken. I now have to do the write-ups which hopefully won't take too long, but still time-consuming as I'm trying to be thorough. And yes - you'll get to see - but only the finished blocks and only after I've shared with the appropriate groups.

I've got some information about Zoom (thanks Elaine) and I'm doing a wee bit more research on how to set the calls up. I'll be scheduling those calls later today. I'm kind of excited about it and of course, I'm going to do a couple of tests - just to be sure that everything is set up properly.

Some of what I'm sharing today happened a couple of days ago. I know - there's so much that I don't have time to put it all up on the blog and I need to deal with the UFO club pictures as well. I'll start with the status of Studio B and those work tables.

I had unearthed some more pieces of vinyl that were folded. Well, that's silly, so I dug out the rolls of vinyl from the Stash Room and now all the vinyl is nicely rolled onto four rolls. I know - that's excessive! But I hope to try making a bag or two with it. The rolls are stored in long skinny plastic bags to prevent them from unrolling. Neat and tidy!!

All the vinyl is now on rolls

And with all that cleaning, I've now got ONE table totally empty. OK - so I just moved stuff as I needed the space to roll the vinyl.

One empty work table

The stack of empty containers is getting larger as I find homes for the stuff. That makes me very excited! I'm sure I'll find a use for these as there is still a lot of stuff in bags and I'd prefer the hard containers as you can stack them.

Empty containers 

I emptied a laundry basket. And that left a hole under the longarm! Which was promptly filled with another bag of quilt tops that need borders or bindings and was residing beneath one of the tables in the main workspace.

An empty space beneath the long arm

It's unbelievable that I could have let this mess get so out of hand. I'll whisper that there are more bags of stuff but I'm not going to deal with them as they are hidden away and as I work through the ones under the long arm, the others will come out. It's getting very much under control so that's all positive. I'm feeling so much better about all this.

And after that day of cleaning, this is what the work tables looked like! That's pretty impressive because things didn't get shuffled to a new location - they actually found a permanent home. That's my goal and I'm happy with the progress. Once everything has a permanent home, then I can pick a "new" project or two and work on that during the week. There'll be no more of trying to do 50 different things in a week. It just isn't going to happen.

The worktables in Studio B
On Saturday, I did add some projects to the weekly laundry basket even though I wasn't completely finished the basket. I know I shouldn't do that - that's how I get into trouble, but I was OK with it.

The weekly laundry basket of projects

Yes - it looks a bit overflowing, but I'm working on it.

I also had to bring up the tub with the four ongoing classes that needed the homework completed. And there's a box of pet mats that need to be serged closed so the serger got added to the mix. I may not even get to the laundry basket this week, but it's all neat and tidy and NOTHING more can be added until this gets done!! It would be so nice to have that laundry basket empty and then go shopping downstairs to fill it for the week. That's my ultimate goal and I'm about two weeks away from making that happen. It all depends on how much time I spend during the day sewing.

When I'm on the computer or downstairs quilting, obviously, I'm not working on the laundry basket. I might try for one full day working on the laundry basket. That'll move things along quickly!

The projects for this week

When we had the issues with the basement last year, a "few" things got shifted upstairs and never got dealt with. So besides dealing with the mess in Studio B, there were a few projects in the bathroom off of Studio U. This counter was FILLED with stuff.

Bathroom counter that was filled with UFOs

You'll notice that it's now nice and tidy. That's because I found a permanent home for everything that was on the counter. That was HUGE. Now if someone comes to stay, they don't have to worry about getting my projects wet. HOWEVER, there is no bed for them to sleep in unless they want to move all those quilts!!!

The bottom cabinets are pretty much empty, except for a stack of canvases that I'll do something with someday. The canvases are all in one spot. That's huge! I was hoping to stretch a few quilt projects over them - just for something different.

BUT - I had to laugh when I opened one door. Guess what I found inside?? Two jugs of distilled water. I guess I wasn't running out as I had thought I was. So all the extra containers of distilled water are now together.

Extra jugs of distilled water 

Someone suggested that I try Alexa for helping me remember where I put some of the obscure stuff. I might give that a shot today and see how good her memory is!!!

I still have several quilts that need bindings. This quilt was quilted a while ago, and the binding was made, but alas - I can't find it. I thought I would find it when I went through all those tubs in the "to be quilted" pile, but I couldn't find the darn thing. Oh shoot - and I don't have any more of that Stonehenge fabric. But wait - let's have a look again.

A quilt that needs binding

I checked in my fabric bucket and NO WAY -- there was a piece that'll be perfect. I don't care if there is a binding already made - it'll be used for something else. I can now finish this quilt off. Yeah!!!!

Fabric to make the binding

I used to think I was good at multi-tasking, but I'm not. However, I do have some small things that I can do, especially when I'm on the phone. I put my earbuds in when I'm on my cell phone as I'm always putting the person on hold or muting myself. Then I get to iron things. It's a perfect way to get some mindless tasks done.

I'm trying to get those hourglass blocks done. So I pressed all of the half-square triangles that were in the container. And to be fair - when you're talking on the phone or on a conference call, we really should be focused on what is being said - otherwise what's the point? However, there are some conference calls - if you are a minor player, then who cares!! Which works fine until you get asked a question!

Pressing half-square triangles
I matched up the pairs of half-square triangles so I could then do step two of making the hourglass blocks.

Matching up the half-square triangles
This is all I had that I couldn't match up. I might just keep these as half-square triangles and put them in the appropriate box after I trim them up.

Single half-square triangles with no matching pair
So now all the half-square triangles that can be made for this project are made. They are matched up and sitting in this container waiting for the next step to occur which is marking a diagonal line on the back of one of the pairs of half-square triangles and sewing on both sides of the line and then trimming. A good ender/leader project.

A box of half-square triangles paired up to make hourglass blocks
I also had a small stack of half-square triangles that needed to be pressed and trimmed. They got processed while I was on a phone call.

Half-square triangles that are trimmed
It doesn't look like it in the picture, but these are trimmed to 1 ½". I must have used a weird angle to take that picture.

And they are stored with the rest of the half-square triangles that have been set aside to make a scrap quilt.

A container full of trimmed half-square triangles

I have another small quantity of half-square triangles to be trimmed so when I'm on my next call - who knows - I might be trimming them!!!

I always seem to be cold! Even in the middle of summer with no air-conditioning on, our house tends to be on the cool side. Therefore, I have wraps EVERYWHERE in the house. But how to store or stack them neatly??  These two were in Studio B.

Two wraps for warmth

 This one is in Studio U. Notice the color of them - yep - orange or reddish-orange.

A wrap in Studio U

And then I noticed this one on a stand in Studio U. It belongs to M, but I had a look at it.

A wrap that belongs to M

Hmm - it's a bit faded from the sun. I stole it and put it with my other ones. OK - who am I kidding - how many wraps does one need? Lots! I like to rotate!!!

The wrap got faded by the sun
 I decided it was time to check my blood pressure. Nothing is wrong, but there are times when I might feel a bit faint, and since my blood pressure tends on the low side of normal. I had to charge it up and then I took the reading while standing up without resting. It was low, but not abnormally low. So I just need to keep an eye on it. It works with my phone so that's easy!!!  I MUST remember to drink more - I know that's why my blood pressure is low.

Blood pressure monitor

So the BIG excitement at my house yesterday was getting the software that runs the long arm updated. As I said yesterday, it's been on my TO-DO list since December. The document to upgrade Windows was 15 pages long. The next document was 33 pages, but it was mostly telling us about new features and since I'm not into the designing side of the software (yet), I was able to skim over that. Then I got to the third document. 24 pages!!! NO!!!!! 

This part had to be done with the computer connected to the longarm. I wasn't going to print that document out so I took my laptop to the long arm.

Updating the long arm software
There was a lot of turning the machine on, turn the long arm computer off. Turn the long arm computer on, turn the machine off. Well - it seemed like there was a lot.

A lot of stuff flashed on the screen. 

Updating the software on the long arm

Things were going very well, and then - WHAT???  I have to push some restart button on the bottom of the long arm? Good grief. I had to remove one of the pantograph panels from the long arm table so I could find the button.

The photograph table is removed
 I had to get a wooden chopstick to poke up into that big hole. And I might have to do it several times until the numbers on the screen started to decrease. Do you know how awkward that was?

The hole for the reset button

But after two pokes, the numbers started to decrease!!! I'm back in business.

Decreasing numbers on the screen
The next thing I knew, the NEW software interface was on the screen. YAHOO!!!!   I have to say again that following the instructions from APQS was flawless. Thank you APQS.  The service and support are amazing.

The new software interface
I've no idea if it actually works and the next quilt loaded on the long arm is going to be hand-guided so I'll have to wait until next week to see that everything is OK. I'm sure it is.

Just a quick update on the mini Block of the Month quilt. I'm making good progress on making all these teeny-tiny half-square triangles.  Each of those piles makes one block and in each pile, there are four plain squares and four half-square triangles.

The progress on the border for the mini quilt

I decided to add the sashing and cornerstones to the outside of the quilt and I think it makes a huge difference. I almost stopped there, but I'm going to add a small dark coping strip and then the pieced border. Then one final border.

Progress on the mini Block of the Month

So you see - there is no end the fun and games at my house. I don't even have time to be bored and I'm reading like crazy as well. More on that another day as I've completely run out of time!!!

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I am at war with you. On Tuesday, I made 4 bindings for a friend (I’ve had the fabric for a month). They went out in the mail to her quilter! I made a binding and sewed onto a quilt for the same friend-I got it quilted 2 weeks ago during my marathon of 6. I wanted my I-owe-you list done and it is!!!!!

    I made a binding for a new top I finished last week as well as the flannel backing washed/dried for it.

    No I-owe-you remains and I have a fresh start to a new day! :-) I'm doing a store-run for a high-risk friend so she can stay home, we'll do the masked hand-off and then the day is mine in my studio :-)

    Happy Wednesday everyone !!!

    1. I'm so jealous that you "i-owe-you" list is done. Mine is not. Close but not done.

      You are being super productive. I'm finding it very easy (much easier) to stay focused with the quarantine. That's not a good thing, but I'm taking advantage of the situation.

      Have a great day!!!

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